Do Bigha Zamin: The Balraj Sahni film which hasn’t aged a day | Bollywood Rewind


Poverty is a vicious cycle and getting out of that cycle is near-impossible. Bimal Roy’s 1953 film Do Bigha Zamin examines the unforgiving nature of poverty and the way the system that’s supposed to assist the poor, is designed to maintain the less-fortunate in the identical place.

Do Bigha Zamin opens in a village the place the farmers are celebrating the rains after a lengthy stretch of drought. As they sing “Hariyaala Saawan Dhol Bajaata Aaya,” it’s laborious to think about that this may be the final time we see the protagonist, Shambhu and his household, experiencing pleasure as a result of from right here on, they’re bombarded with tragedies.

Shambu, performed by a convincing Balraj Sahni, and his household depend upon their ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ for his livelihood so when the village zamindar forces Shambhu to promote his land, he takes a stand however with out hurting the massive man’s ego. After all, his ‘dharti’ is ‘maa’ and the zamindar, his ‘maai-baap’. For this naive man, promoting the land is unimaginable so he decides to promote every part else he owns to repay his debt.

But how will a humble, uneducated, poor man struggle in opposition to the intelligent zamindar? Shambhu is trapped and has to repay Rs 235 to the zamindar in three months, which is an not possible feat for a poor man like him. So, he units off to Calcutta, the massive metropolis that guarantees a golden future. As he leaves his village on foot, and the village people sing ‘Dharti Kahe Pukaar Ke’, you already know issues will get darker from right here on. He longingly seems to be at his ‘dharti maa’ because the lyrics say ‘Tu phir aaye na aaye’ and it’s evident that poor Shambhu is trapped in a maze with no escape.

Shambhu’s tryst to avoid wasting Rs 235 has him dealing with one impediment after one other. The story of Do Bigha Zamin, by Salil Chowdhury, is so tragic that it leaves you gasping for breath. Every nook he turns to, is a useless finish. Every lifeboat he will get on, sinks. His struggles begin feeling claustrophobic as a result of no matter he touches turns to ash. Do Bigha Zamin is the type of film that pushes one into the darkish nook of despair that stays with you for a very long time.

Do Bigha Zamin is about at a time when India was nonetheless a younger nation and it’s evident that at a time when modifications have been required from the bottom up, the underprivileged class was ignored till they have been wanted for his or her laborious labour. As the pandemic and ensuing migration has proven us, little appears to have modified.

Do Bigha Zamin is a tragedy with no ray of hope.

It is famously identified that Bimal Roy was impressed to make Do Bigha Zamin after he watched the 1948 film Bicycle Thieves. The character of Kanhaiya, Shambhu’s son, is an homage to Vittorio De Sica’s film. In the later years, Do Bigha Zamin was seen because the film that germinated the thought of new-wave cinema. Even although Indian cinema was nonetheless in its early years within the Fifties, movies like this pushed the boundaries of what could possibly be finished on the silver display.

Do Bigha Zamin rests on the robust shoulders of Balraj Sahni who really ran barefoot on the new asphalt roads of Calcutta whereas taking pictures the film. Balraj, who was identified for taking part in the upscale gentleman in movies, melted into the function of Shambhu and gave a defining efficiency that’s certain to depart you pondering for hours. Despite being a 68-year-old film, Do Bigha Zamin has a unhappy soul that may nonetheless hang-out the viewer.

balraj sahni Shambhu and Kanhaiya are swallowed by the massive metropolis as they attempt to save their ‘Do Bigha Zamin’.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who later turned a celebrated filmmaker, was a key a part of Bimal Ry’s group and in Do Bigha Zamin, Mukherjee was credited with screenplay, modifying and even aiding Roy in route. The film additionally options a brief cameo by Meena Kumari, which comes as a nice shock, maybe the one one on this tragic story. Nirupa Roy, who was later identified for her iconic mom roles in movies like Amar Akbar Anthony and Deewar, performs Shambhu’s spouse Parvati right here. Her demure persona mixed along with her naivety provides a little bit of appeal to the film.

Do Bigha Zamin is a kind of must-watch movies which have made the inspiration for Hindi cinema. The tragedy of this film is in its soul, and that soul hasn’t aged a day.

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Do Bigha Zamin is streaming on ZEE5 and ShemarooMe.

In this weekly column, we revisit gems from the golden years of Hindi cinema.


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